Gov. Bruce Rauner followed through with his promise to bring state jobs back to the capital city with the signing of House Bill 4295. The legislation moves hundreds of state jobs to Springfield.
“It is a matter of state pride,” Rauner said. “This bill preserves the heritage of Springfield as Illinois’ capital city while boosting our local economy. It promotes Lincoln’s hometown and his vision as one of the original lawmakers who advocated for making Springfield the capital of Illinois.”
The measure was co-sponsored in the Senate by Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill.
“Springfield is the seat of our state government, so it is only natural that state jobs should be located there,” Manar said. “I want to thank Representative Jimenez for her hard work on this legislation and dedication to the people of downstate Illinois. This is a measure that has the potential to boost the economy in and around our capital city.”
Under the new law, Sangamon County is now given priority for state jobs if the job doesn’t require a specific geographic location. It does not require current state employees to relocate.
The legislation comes after a 2016 workforce study found that 467 total state jobs could be relocated to Springfield.
The law’s requirements only apply to vacant positions, new positions or positions that become vacant in the future. House Bill 4295 takes effect immediately.
The bill codifies into law that Sangamon County is the default location for most state jobs, unless there is a specific reason the job needs to be in a different location.
“For all of my time as state representative, I have made it a priority to push state agencies to identify positions within state government that can and should be located in Sangamon County,” said Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, the legislation’s chief sponsor. “A recent report identified nearly 400 jobs that could potentially be relocated to the capital city. By making Sangamon County the default location for state jobs in state law, it sends a clear signal that state jobs should be in the capital city, unless they need to be located somewhere else in the state to best serve our residents.”
The bill requires the director of Central Management Services (CMS) to work with other agency directors to relocate all state positions under the Personnel Code to Sangamon County — with some exceptions. It also requires that all new positions be in the Springfield unless there is a valid, constituent-based reason for the position to be elsewhere. The director of CMS will specify the geographic location for each job and, when a job is located outside of Sangamon County, the CMS director will provide the reason for the exception.
“I want to thank Gov. Rauner for signing this important measure, and I want to commend Rep. Sara Jimenez for her steadfast leadership in bringing this measure forward and for shepherding it through the General Assembly,” said Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington, who sponsored HB 4295 in the Senate.
“Returning state positions to the state capital is not only about jobs here in Sangamon County, but also about improving efficiency and generating cost savings for taxpayers statewide,” said Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield. “It's a common-sense change, and I was proud to sponsor it in the House.”
Abraham Lincoln, along with eight other lawmakers from the Sangamon area, originally promoted Springfield to be the new state capital city after Vandalia. The state capitol was moved to Springfield in 1837.
The new law is consistent with the plan to sell the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, which houses many current state employees.
The bill, effective immediately, applies to newly created or newly filled positions, and specifies that collective bargaining rights shall not be affected.